The trip between Lorton VA and Quantico VA took almost an hour to cover 15 miles of the parking lot called I-95. Ideally, the first photos I would show would be the Military Police check point at the entrance to Quantico. However, there are numerous signs warning of the severe sanctions for unauthorized photography and I had no desire to be drawn and quartered nor used as an instructional aid for bayonet drill, so I left my camera safely in the bag.
After driving (very carefully five miles per hour under the speed limit) past the 1000 yard rifle range, the archery range (seriously!), and more interesting signs like “Warning, Explosives Laden Vehicles Entering Roadway,” I made it to the National Academy. The FBI Uniform Police maintain a second security check point, once past that I was able to join the madhouse of people unloading their luggage.
If I did not feel safe enough with Marine security check points and uniformed FBI police surrounding the facility, the current FBI Academy (future agent) cadets were on hand to assist us with luggage and finding our rooms and every one of them was armed with a bright crayola blue training pistol. The guy who helped me was actually a deputy in Orange County FL for six years and got hired on with the FBI. I am glad they are hiring cops, though he said he was one of only six in his class.
The grounds here are immaculate. It is a very park like environment. As I was lugging my stuff through one of the glass hallways that connect buildings, there was a doe with two fawns within five feet of the glass looking in at me. The deer here seem to have no fear; then again, with Marines and and FBI protecting them, what do they have to be afraid of?
My room is not quite as high rent as the grounds are but it is not as quite as spartan as I feared. The bathroom between the two room looks original to J. Edgar’s administration and the shower nozzle is somewhat akin to a pressure washer. At least there is privacy in the room shower. The showers in the gym provide the joy of bathing with a hundred of your closest friends. Anyhow, this is my room, forgive the fish eye perspective:
Hopefully all of these photos will link to the larger version if you are interested; that is what I am aiming for anyhow, but I am new to this Live Writer and I don’t know if it will work.
After moving into the room we had a tour of the facilities which left me just as lost as when I started. All of the buildings are connected and you get confused as to which building you are actually in. Most of the hallways look alike and there are lots of doors like this one:
If you look closely, that is a tumbler lock, like on a safe. If I had to go through that every time I left my office, I would sure think twice about running for a cup of coffee. Heck, I left the combination on the back of my gym locker lock today; that probably would disqualify me for the FBI right there!
My roommate is from Nebraska, his name is Kevin. I have met one of our suitemates, he is the Sheriff of Delaware County OH. Actually, I have met a lot of people (because my Mom always said if I was friendly to people at school, I would make friends. See, I listened Mom!) We have 28 international students in the class. I have met the ones from UK, Lithuania, Hong Kong, Kuwait, and one of the two Canadians. Spain, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Ukraine, a couple of African nations I can’t remember, Romania, Turks and Caicos, Cayman Islands, and Thailand are among the other countries with officers here. Among the friends I have made is Ben from the UK. He works in Hampshire England on a homicide and major crime unit. On Saturday he went with Mike and I to Wal-Mart on a supply run and Sunday he and I drove to the recreational area on the base to check out what was available.
Sunday morning I made it to the non-denominational church service. I was one of four in attendance. None of the four of us could sing worth a dang and the hymns were a capella, luckily there were only two of them, though we did sing every verse. Ben and I checked out the recreational area after lunch, and I swam a half mile in the pool before supper. This evening was our official welcoming speech from the director of the National Academy and our first opportunity to meet the FBI agent assigned to our section (the class is broken into six sections, each has an FBI agent) in our home room. Yes, I have a home room again.
Tomorrow is more orientation, paperwork, a last opportunity to drop/add classes, and a welcoming dinner. Classes start in earnest on Tuesday. Each section has to select certain class officers, one of which is photographer. I may volunteer for photographer but apparently that would also mean trying to complete challenge runs while carrying my gear, not sure about adding an extra six to eight pounds of expensive camera gear to cross country running. I will try to find out more tomorrow.